Can I Get Shingles Again

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Can I Get Shingles Again ?

People, who get chicken pox, develop resistance to the varicella zoster virus that causes it. Once they are infected, they do not get it again. Shingles and chicken pox are from the same virus. A person, who gets affected by the varicella zoster virus, develops a resistance to it. They do not get affected by it again. But, it is possible for people to get shingles again. It is believed that only 4 percent of people have a repeated episode because they have a suppressed and poor immune system. Even if shingles comes again, it does not cause the same kind of rashes and at the same place in the body. The second outbreak of blisters occurs several years after the first outbreak.


Shingles is also called herpes zoster and is caused by the virus called varicella zoster, which causes chicken pox. The virus has several variations and each one causes different symptoms and fevers. Chicken pox and shingles are very identical to each other, but they do show different symptoms.  However, singles can be prevented using a vaccine. Chicken pox has a cure unlike shingles.

There are some medications which ease the symptoms and shorten the period the shingles blisters last. Anti-viral treatments are used within 72 hours of the infection. Some of the medications used are Acyclovir, Famvir and Valtrex.  These medications have positive effects on shingles. They reduce its severity and also keep symptoms, like irritation, on the lower side. Shingles appears as red bumps in the beginning and then becomes a crust. These medications seemed to lower the time the shingles takes for crusting.

A study on valacyclovir, one of the medications given for shingles, prevented the blisters from forming one day sooner than people who did not take this medication. The average time for crusting was two to three days as compared to five days in people, who did not take the medication.

While there are medications that ease the irritation on the skin during shingles, there is no cure.  Shingles takes its course to go away. The blisters do crust and eventually the skin clears up. It is best not to scratch the blisters because they becomes worse and may get infected. Shingles also causes a high fever and runny nose in the beginning. It is not possible to treat shingles because once a person gets it; he or she will get it again. That is one of the reasons why antiviral drugs work on them.

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